Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Keynote: “Interacting to Learn and Learning to Interact
This was an interesting presentation by Barbara Dieu who teaches in Brazil. She talked about having students interact on the web and experience genuine interactions as opposed to those artificially created by the instructor.

Something that struck me from her presentation was a discussion about mistakes. Following on related comments at a workshop yesterday, my attention was drawn. She noted that we must accept mistakes as a part of learning, arguing that perfectionists never get anywhere for fear of failing.

At the same time, I was reading The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner. "Studies of the innovation process make the point:"success does not breed success. It breeds failure. It is failure which breeds success." (p. 214).

In my studies of why faculty do or don't adopt technology, one key comment is that faculty want to be seen as the expert and don't want to be seen by students as not being proficient in something. They don't want to be caught learning. They don't want to fail in front of their students.

I wonder, if more people knew about this welcoming culture of failure/mistakes in the online world, if people would be more willing to jump in? Or would they simply be more convinced that the online world has no place in academia?


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